Seared Scallops over Potato Cakes with Asparagus is not one of the simple dishes that Ample Bites normally posts. This dish takes some time and care to prepare but the result is well worth the effort. To save time when serving this dish consider making the garlic oil and potato cakes ahead of time so that you can focus on getting the sauce right and searing the scallops to perfection.
Seared Scallops over Potato Cakes with Asparagus
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants by Ann Benoit, 2014)
6 large scallops
2 lbs. Yukon or Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 garlic head, baked
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup chives, finely snipped
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
Freshly ground black pepper
6 medium asparagus sprigs, baked to al dente
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. wild mushrooms
4 bacon strips, cooked to crisp and chopped
Beurre Blanc Sauce (see recipe below)
Chive sprigs, each about the diameter of a scallop
Preheat oven to 300F. Coat the bottom and sides of a rimmed baking sheet with butter and reserve.
In medium skillet over medium-low heat cook the minced garlic in all of the olive oil for 10 minutes. Take care not to brown the garlic. Using a fine-mesh strainer, separate the garlic from the oil. Reserve the oil, separating in to portions of 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons. Allow to cool.
Marinate the scallops in 1/2 cup of garlic oil for at least 30 minutes.
In a large stockpot of salted water boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, until soft but firm. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion and chives in oil for 3 minutes, reserve. Mill the potatoes through a fine food mill into a large mixing bowl. Add butter, egg yolks and squeeze in baked garlic cloves. Combine thoroughly then add the onion and chives to the potato mixture. Spread the potato mixture on the buttered baking sheet into a uniform layer about 3/8-inch-thick. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until top is lightly browned. Allow to cool and cut into planks.
Saute the mushrooms in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sear the scallops in batches of three in the marinade oil.
To plate, place three asparagus sprigs on each plate parallel to each other about 2 inches apart. Place a potato cake plank across the thick end of the asparagus sprigs. Top each cake with three scallops. Top the scallops with a sauteed mushrooms and bacon bits. Finish with Beurre Blanc Sauce and garnish with a drizzle of reserved garlic oil and chive sprigs.
Beurre Blanc Sauce
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp dry white wine
2 Tbsp finely minced shallots
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 16 pieces
In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan combine vinegar, wine, shallots, salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer.
Gently simmer liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and immediately swirl or whisk in 2 pieces of chilled butter. As the butter is incorporated into the liquid add another piece and continue to swirl or whisk. Return pan to low heat and while constantly swirling or whisking add successive pieces of butter. When all of the butter has been added remove from heat. Sauce will be thick and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately. To hold the sauce, set the pan in a larger pan of lukewarm water. If the sauce separates, transfer a spoonful of the sauce to a cold mixing bowl and gradually whisk the rest of the sauce in by the spoonful. The sauce can be reheated by gradually whisking 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot liquid, i.e. water, cream or stock.